Selecting and evaluating the superintendent is one of the school board’s most important jobs. A high quality superintendent evaluation process helps develop good board/superintendent relationships, provides clarity of roles, creates common understanding of the leadership being provided and provides a mechanism for public accountability.
The evaluation process involves the four core board governing roles:
Vision: Goal setting.
Structure: Developing a clear written evaluation plan and timeline.
Accountability: Measuring the superintendent’s performance.
Advocacy: Communication of goals and progress among the board, superintendent and community.
Performance evaluations are most effective when they are designed and used for communicating future expectations, not simply for reviewing past performance. As many superintendents know, if you don’t know what the board expects, it is difficult, if not impossible, to meet those expectations. On the other hand, if the board fails to monitor progress towards its goals it will not know when they have been successfully completed.
Most boards find themselves asking questions such as:
What should we evaluate?
How can we do it objectively and fairly?
When should the superintendent’s evaluation take place?
OSBA has developed an evaluation process and three part evaluation tool that can help answer these questions and serve as the foundation upon which school boards can build their own evaluation process and documents. Separate versions have been developed for K-12 superintendents and ESD superintendents. Both are provided below.